Margaret Jayne Fisher Jones, resident of San Mateo, died April 18, 2019, after a brief illness with her family at her side. She was 96.
Born in May of 1922 in York, Nebraska, Mrs. Jones moved as a young child with her entire extended family to Long Beach, California, and grew up there joyfully, surrounded by friends and relatives.
The third of the four ‘Fisher Girls’, Mrs. Jones always remembered her childhood as a festive continuum of swimming in the ocean and bay, and high diving in the lagoon, of music and singing, horseback riding, oil painting, dancing, tennis, socializing with a world of friends and participating in lively family events. She was asked to try out for the 1936 Olympics as a high diver, but her father said no.
Mrs. Jones graduated from Wilson High School in 1940, where she was president of the senior class, and then earned an AA in English Literature from Long Beach City College in 1942, where she also served as president of the student body. Following graduation, Mrs. Jones worked for a year at McDonnell Douglas at the height of the war, and then went to U.C. Berkeley in 1943 to do her pre-nursing courses. She lived in the Delta Gamma house.
In 1944, Mrs. Jones went across the Bay to attend nursing school at U.C. San Francisco. She met her future husband, Malcolm D. Jones, in January 1945 while he was a medical student at UCSF. They were married 6 months later, in June 1945. Mrs. Jones left nursing school in early 1946 when Dr. Jones was assigned an internship at the San Diego Naval Hospital, just prior to the birth of their first child in May 1946.
Dr. Jones shipped out to China as medical officer on a Navy ship in mid-1947, and was not at Mrs. Jones’ side when their second child was born in San Diego in December. He returned to San Diego in mid-1948, met their second born for the first time, and continued on at the Naval Hospital. The couple welcomed their third child in October 1949.
In 1950, the young family arrived back in San Francisco. Dr. Jones began a residency in radiology at UCSF, and Mrs. Jones endured three years of living in the fog of The City with their three, and then four young children, the fourth having been born in September 1952.
In 1953, the growing family moved to Millbrae, life continued in the sunnier climes of the Peninsula, and Dr. Jones began his decades’ long daily commute back up to UCSF where he was now on the faculty. Mrs. Jones was an active member of the UCSF Faculty Wives Association for the next 20 years. Also in 1953, the Jones family joined the Millbrae Methodist Church, an association that lasted for 65 years. Dr. and Mrs. Jones fifth child was born in Burlingame in June 1956 and the family was complete.
For the next 20 years, Mrs. Jones was consumed with the far-flung activities and joys of raising a family of 5 children – including a 6-month sabbatical ‘road trip’ with the 5 children in 1959-60, so Dr. Jones could continue his studies on the cervical spine, first at McGill University in Montreal and then at Children’s Hospital in Boston. Mrs. Jones was his vibrant and able companion on that great adventure.
Mrs. Jones was also illustrator of Dr. Jones’ textbook, Basic Diagnostic Radiology, published in 1969, an effort that consumed a full year of nights and weekends for the two.
When the last of their five children graduated from Mills High School in the mid-1970’s, Dr. and Mrs. Jones left Millbrae and began a 5-year sojourn in San Antonio, Texas, where Dr. Jones headed the Radiology Department at the UT Medical School there. Mrs. Jones was his lively help-mate in the effort to recruit and embrace over 20 new faculty members from around the world.
Their Methodist church involvement in San Antonio was busy as well. Mrs. Jones continued her life-long love of singing in the church choir, and Dr. Jones continued to teach adult Sunday school in the San Antonio congregation. Although the couple loved the warmth of the Texas people and their life there, Mrs. Jones was very homesick for the family back in California which was expanding by leaps and bounds with the addition of grandchildren.
Dr. and Mrs. Jones moved to Fresno in 1979, where he lead the UCSF Radiology Residency Rotation for 3 years, and the couple again became active in the local Methodist Church. In 1983, Dr. Jones joined the faculty at UC Irvine Medical School and the couple settled in nearby Tustin.
Dr. and Mrs. Jones became extremely involved in the Tustin Methodist Church. They also spearheaded a community-wide effort to help senior citizens work as volunteers in the local public schools. In 1993, Dr. and Mrs. Jones were commended as Tustin Citizens of the Year for that program. At the same time, the couple served on the Board of Directors of the Claremont School of Theology.
Never one to be without a big project, in 1990 Mrs. Jones enrolled at U.C. Irvine, intent on finishing the college education that had been interrupted by ‘life’ way back in 1946.
In May 1994, at the age of 72, Mrs. Jones graduated summa cum laude from U.C. Irvine, earning a B.S. in Social Sciences and departmental honors. She always said the faculty and her fellow students at the university were incredibly welcoming and helpful to her in those years.
In 1996, Dr. Jones retired from his many decades in academic medicine and the couple moved back to the San Francisco Peninsula, settling in San Mateo and resuming active participation in their beloved New Vision United Methodist Church in Millbrae.
Over the next 6 years, Dr. and Mrs. Jones became involved in yet another worthy cause: The United Religions Initiative. Inspired by the interfaith idealism of the organization, the couple established a Cooperation Circle for the Peninsula that met monthly and included representatives of well over a dozen different religious traditions. After Dr. Jones passed away in 2001, Mrs. Jones vigorously continued to lead the group for another 10 years.
In 2015, Mrs. Jones reluctantly agreed to move to Atria Assisted Living in San Mateo, her health and frailty making it increasingly difficult to live alone in her lovely San Mateo home.
Once at Atria, Mrs. Jones embraced a leadership role on the Atria Residents Council and became an advocate for all of the employees in the facility. Over the next 4 years, she spearheaded a fund-raising campaign that resulted in a generous annual holiday bonus for each employee at Atria Hillsdale. She only gave up leadership of that effort in January 2019, because she felt it was time for someone else to enjoy the opportunity.
Mrs. Jones will be missed by her huge, dynamic family. Grandma Jones is survived by many children, their spouses, 11 grandchildren, their significant others, and 12 great grandchildren, with a thirteenth due later this year.
Margaret Jones’ family includes children: Linda Rohan (daughter), Margaret (daughter) and J. Alex Aycinena, Roger (son) and Ruth Ann Jones, Malcolm (son) and Nancy Jones; and grandchildren and great grandchildren: Debbie and Spencer Stinson, James, Rebecca and Kyle Stinson, Victoria and Craig Nelson, Chas Horton, Christopher and Christina Parker, Alexandra, Mae and Kai Parker, Jeffrey Parker and Oliver Wouk, Tiffany and James Sargent, Milo and Coretta Jeanne Sargent, Ben Jones and Richelle Reid, Meg and Shaun Lippow, Jonathan and Anna Margaret Lippow, Diana Aycinena and Jonathan Mellen, J. Alex and Alicia Aycinena, R. Greg Rohan and Timsy Vora, and Mark Rohan and Tiffany Wong.
Mrs. Jones’ family also includes Robert Rohan, Jan Shoemaker, and David and Carol Ann Parker, Brenda, Gordon, Bryson, Delaney, Brooke and Cassidy Lewis, Sara, Dan, Charlie, Harrison and Cutler Hobin, Jenna, Ted, Kate and Teddy Swigert, and Rob, Kelly Ann, Bo and James Lamb.
Mrs. Jones is also survived by a niece and seven nephews: Kathy and Ted Nixon, Dan Jones and Brownyn Fryer, Gilbert Stroppini, Alan Stroppini and Kathy Cooper, Paul and Diki Voigt, Eric Voigt, Jeff and Jaqui Brown, and Greg Brown and Michelle Charbonneau, as well as countless friends from around the world who admired her zest for life and commitment to social justice.
It is not to be forgotten that Mrs. Jones made a helluva meatloaf, complete with ketchup garnish, and wonderful lemon meringue pies, that she raised a gibbon, was an accomplished painter and seamstress, loved everything copper or maple, and that her signature solo anthem every Christmas Eve was ‘Oh Holy Night’.
Mrs. Jones was preceded in death in 1999 by her beloved daughter, Sheryl Jones Parker, and in 2001 by her life-long companion and best friend, Dr. Malcolm D. Jones.
The Jones Family suggests donations can be made to New Vision United Methodist Church, 450 Chadbourne Avenue, Millbrae, CA, 94030, or Boys Town of America, 14100 Crawford St., Boys Town, NE 68010.
A Celebration of Life will be held at the Millbrae New Vision United Methodist Church on Sunday, May 19, 2019, at 4:00 pm. All are welcome.